Home  »  The Book of Georgian Verse  »  Susanna Blamire (1747–1794)

William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. The Book of Georgian Verse. 1909.

The Nabob

Susanna Blamire (1747–1794)

WHEN silent time, wi’ lightly foot,

Had trod on thirty years,

I sought again my native land

Wi’ mony hopes and fears.

Wha kens gin the dear friends I left

May still continue mine?

Or gin I e’er again shall taste

The joys I left langsyne?

As I drew near my ancient pile,

My heart beat a’ the way;

Ilk place I passed seemed yet to speak

O’ some dear former day:—

Those days that followed me afar,

Those happy days o’ mine,

Whilk made me think the present joys

A’ naething to langsyne.

The ivied tower now met my eye,

Where minstrels used to blaw;

Nae friend stepped forth wi’ open hand.

Nae weel-kenned face I saw,

Till Donald tottered to the door,

Wham I left in his prime,

And grat to see the lad return

He bore about langsyne.

I ran to ilka dear friend’s room,

As if to find them there;

I knew where ilk ane used to sit,

And hung o’er mony a chair;

Till soft remembrance threw a veil

Across these een o’ mine—

I closed the door, and sobbed aloud,

To think on auld langsyne.

Some pensy chiels, a new-sprung race,

Wad next their welcome pay,

Wha shuddered at my Gothic wa’s,

And wished my groves away.

‘Cut, cut,’ they cried, ‘those aged elms,

Lay low yon mournfu’ pine!’

‘Na, na! our fathers’ names grow there,

Memorials o’ langsyne.’

To wean me fra these waefu’ thoughts

They took me to the town,

But sair on ilka weel-kenned face

I missed the youthfu’ bloom.

At balls they pointed to a nymph

Wham a’ declared divine:

But sure her mother’s blushing cheeks

Were fairer far langsyne!

In vain I sought in music’s sound

To find that magic art

Which oft in Scotland’s ancient lays

Has thrilled through a’ my heart.

The sang had mony an artfu’ turn:

My ear confessed ’twas fine;

But missed the simple melody

I listened to langsyne.

Ye sons to comrades o’ my youth,

Forgi’e an auld man’s spleen,

Wha midst your gayest scenes still mourns

The days he ance has seen.

When time has passed, and seasons fled,

Your hearts will feel like mine;

And aye the sang will maist delight

That minds ye o’ lang syne.